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This painting features a vibrant, red starfish, a symbolic maritime resident integral to the history and ecosystem of Sarasota County. Against a backdrop of deep blue ocean hues and a neutral sandy shoreline, the artwork vividly portrays the natural beauty found along Sarasota's coastline. The starfish, with its five elongated arms, is a frequent sight in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico‚ÄĒa locale that has long influenced the region‚Äôs economy and community life. From the early Native American settlers to the modern local communities, the starfish represents the enduring connection between the people and the sea.

Sarasota County’s history is steeped in maritime culture, with fishing and trade routes shaping the growth and development of the area. The presence of starfish and other marine life has always been a critical part of the local ecosystem, attracting both settlers and tourists to its rich and biodiverse waters. This painting captures the essence of Sarasota’s historical relationship with the Gulf, reminding viewers of the county's enduring reliance on and reverence for the sea. As a contemporary piece, it bridges the past with the present, highlighting a symbol of marine life that has remained a constant in the evolving story of Sarasota County.

Sponsored By

Tourist Development Tax Signature Black

Sarasota County

The Avenue of Art is paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues through a Tourist Development Cultural/Art Grant Programs. Last year, more than $1.6 million dollars of tourist tax collections from hotels and short term rentals (less than six months) supported the arts and cultural organizations of Sarasota Country to offer exciting programming. The Arts and Cultural Alliance manages the TDC/A grant making cycles each year to ensure that the process is fair, transparent and meets the goals and requirements of the program guidelines. The purpose is to offer exciting arts/cultural programming, attract tourists to Sarasota County and maintain Sarasota's place as a cultural center.